Commercial tree-care can be a competitive business. It doesn't matter whether you are a veteran or a new company, in a marketplace with a few competitors or many; YOU CAN LEVERAGE YOUR SALES toward favorable responses: higher closing rates, bigger values and return calls, by repeating proper practices.
What's the point of all that advertising? It's to get your (the consumer's) attention! To distinguish one product from another. When you're talking about breakfast cereal, it's easy to see how that works. Every box is bright and colorful, extolling the virtues of its contents. For a person who works in the service industry, however, advertising looks a little different, because you are BOTH the product AND the advertising!
Advertising is the language of business. But it's more than that. It's a way for you, as a service professional, to communicate who you are, what's important to you, and what services you provide. It's a way to set yourself apart from all the other "breakfast cereals" on the shelf.
Leverage Your Sales
Many arborists are looking to increase their sales. Some want to jump into the consulting arena. In this month's edition of the ISprofessor, Jeff discusses how he increases his sales and his connections using the stuff he carries in his truck! What are those magic items? Sign up to receive the ISprofessor Newsletter in your mailbox each month, and we'll give you the back issues for free... including September's, where we tell you the Three Things You Should ALWAYS Carry in Your Truck.
Physician, Heal Thyself!
As I've been creating lessons for our ISprofessor subscribers, I've been forced to admit that I don't always follow my own advice. For years, I have known the proper ways of handing the one-on-one experience consulting and commercial arborists face, in both sales and in follow-up. But, time and pressure will dilute tension. It's easy to fall away from consistency, even when the behaviors are beneficial. This year, I had to confront myself in my less than thorough exercise of new contact initiation.
Utilizing the “truths” of ISpro, I have generated significantly more “up-front” (I.S.) income in my commercial services sales. I have also seen a higher closing ratio of the services proposed. The bottom line is, this method works! I'm excited to share my perspectives with you, so make sure you join the conversation on LinkedIn and register for our email coaching lessons, ISprofessor.
Over the years, I have heard arborists (as well as others in the broader horticultural community) describe certain specific actions as “consulting”. Yet, since 2012, when I did my first presentation, Responsible Consulting for Arborists, it has become painfully clear that the term is utilized without clear definition and, even more troubling, without consideration for outcome and profit.
If you are in the business of consulting, then you are in the business of providing advice to clients for a fee in order to help them solve a particular problem or range of problems. The most important thing to note here is that Consulting = Drawing Fees. If you're not charging a fee, you're not actually consulting. You're providing an opinion in order to make a sale later.
Arborists often recognize that their expertise can be used to make profits, and they wonder how they can get into the consulting business. You probably already provide some consulting services, whether or not you realize you're doing it! Or, at least, you provide some services that can be TURNED INTO a consulting business. Routinely, people will ask you, “What do you think I should do?”, or even more graphically, “If this was your tree, what would you do?” If you answer, you are looking, “down the rabbit hole”... you're beginning to consult! Once you recognize that you're ALREADY consulting, the question stops being, "How can I start consulting?" and moves to, "How can I MAKE MONEY in consulting?" Because, remember, it's not really consulting unless you're charging a fee.
Do you want to learn how to increase your consulting fees, too? The next step is to join our professional-level lessons: ISprofessor. You'll get monthly lessons delivered right to your email inbox, for you to study on your own time. The first lesson will be published in June, so now is the best time to join. Don't miss a single lesson!
TCIA 2015 Expo
Are you planning on attending the TCIA 2015 Expo in November? If you are, you can attend Jeff's session (Friday) on Consulting: The Talk, the Telling, and the Selling. Learn about viable, responsible consulting, and have a chance to ask a few questions, too! If you're interested in meeting with Jeff one-on-one, please contact us so we can schedule a consultation time.
TJ works outside the horticulture industry, yet his statement reveals the exact situation of thousands of tree-care companies: It's nearly impossible to charge a fee to tell people how much money they will have to pay you later!
You can, however, charge and collect when you deliver VALUE to your clients. Even further than that, you can control the situation to still bid service contracts... without wasting time.
As both a consulting and a commercial Arborist, I have had to learn how to identify the three types of people who buy tree-care services. I'll teach you how this identification can lead to more sales for you! I've had to learn more about "intellectual property" and how to use that to create information products. I can teach you how to use those strategies as income generators, market-positioning tools, and vehicles for up-sales.
What do I do Next?
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